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The To-Do List: Fowl art, free cookout and Women of Soul

Welcome back to The To-Do List, where Daily Memphian staffers suggest their favorite events and activities for the coming week. 

This week, guitars tell stories of American history, the “No Tears Project” educates through civil rights stories and Evan Williams turns Crosstown stories into song. Plus, we get an early start to Juneteenth. 

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Talks and Tapas at Urevbu Contemporary, Thursday:

Fashion designer Samilia Colar will discuss the “RE(de)FINED” exhibition with Urevbu Contemporary owner Sheila Urevbu on June 8. (Courtesy Samilia Colar)


Art gallery owner Sheila Urevbu converses with Memphis fashion designer Samilia Colar in the latest event of this series. Urevbu and Colar will talk fashion, design and visual art, with a focus on the gallery’s “RE(de)FINED” exhibition featuring Nigerian artist Johnson Uwadinma. Uwadinma’s paintings are inspired by his experiences in the Niger Delta, including oil spills, pollution and climate change, and explore the relationships between people and the natural world. Colar draws inspiration from her Nigerian roots for her handbag, clothing and accessory line Samilia, which includes leather, vegan leather and West African prints. There will be hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. The exhibition is on view through Monday, July 31. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Free admission. 410 S. Main St. Click here to register. — Elle Perry

“Phantom of the Paradise” at Crosstown Arts, Thursday:

“Phantom of Paradise” screens at Crosstown Arts on June 8. (Courtesy Crosstown Arts)

Is “Phantom of the Paradise” good? Not knowing it would soon get a big-screen showing in Memphis, I rewatched this circa-1974, Brian De Palma-directed, glam-rock opera for the second time (and first time in at least a decade) only a few months ago and … well, I’m still not sure. But it’s something. This is De Palma (“Carrie,” “Dressed to Kill”) at the height of his stylization, with split screens and close-ups, lurid violence and lurid color and lurid pretty much everything. Story notes from “Faust” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “Phantom of the Opera” get thrown into a blender with musical influences from, I dunno, David Bowie and KISS and Sha Na Na. A meaner, more obscure companion to the following year’s “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Screening as part of the ongoing Crosstown Arts Film Series. 7 p.m., $5. See here for more info. — Chris Herrington

“Drag Queens on Trial” at TheatreWorks, opening Friday:

Emerald Theatre Company’s “Drag Queens on Trial” opens at TheatreWorks on June 9. (Courtesy Emerald Theatre Company)

Last Saturday, just in time for the Memphis Pride parade, a federal judge ruled the state’s drag ban to be unconstitutional, but the fight for drag freedom may not be over yet. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee hinted at an appeal while in Memphis this week. This original play from Emerald Theatre Company couldn’t have come at a better time. In it, three queens take turns standing trial for the “crime” of being a drag queen. As each queen takes the stand, the other two play the roles of the prosecuting attorney and the surprise witness. Runs through June 18. 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. $20. 2085 Monroe Ave. Click here for more information. — Bianca Phillips


Memphis Crafts and Drafts Summer Market at Crosstown Concourse, Saturday:

The Memphis Flyer will host its summer Crafts and Drafts market at Crosstown Concourse on June 10. (The Daily Memphian file)

If you’ve got a hankering for boozin’ and perusin’, have I got an answer for you. The Memphis Crafts and Drafts Summer Market, hosted by the Memphis Flyer, is back for its eighth year. There will be more than 80 vendors selling crafts from paintings, clothes, prints, fragrances, pottery and more. As for the drafts, those will come from Crosstown Brewing Co., Ghost River Brewing, High Cotton Brewing Co. and Wiseacre Brewing Co. Bring the whole family, too! Activities and food will be available inside Crosstown Concourse. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission. 1350 Concourse Ave. Click here for more information. — Kelsey Bowen

“America at the Crossroads” at the Museum of Science and History, opening Saturday:

This touring exhibition from the National Guitar Museum features 40 guitars that tell a story of American history from the earliest Spanish invasion to the rise of a global superpower. Each instrument is paired with videos, photos and illustrations that depict important events, artists and other instruments of the last century in the U.S. Runs through Oct. 22. On view during gallery hours: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 3050 Central Ave. Click here for more information. — Phillips

Yoga with Public Art at Cleaborn Pointe at Heritage Landing, Saturday:

The UrbanArt Commission’s Yoga with Public Art event on June 10 features Douglas Kornfeld’s “Rhapsody.” (Courtesy UrbanArt Commission)

UrbanArt Commission is bringing back its Yoga with Public Art series at four sites this summer. The 45-minute sessions connect communities and public art. First up is Cleaborn Pointe at Heritage Landing. The former Cleaborn Homes redevelopment features Douglas Kornfeld’s 14-foot humanoid stainless steel figures, each representing the emotions of joy, ecstasy, elation, triumph and euphoria. In artist statements, Kornfeld has said his work focuses on the signs and symbols society uses to communicate. After Cleaborn, the series heads to South City, Whitehaven and Downtown’s “I Am A Man” Plaza. 11 a.m. Free (but registration required). 460 S. Lauderdale St. — Perry


Morris Park community cookout, Saturday:

A free cookout in Morris Park will feature live music, food trucks and kids’ activities on June 10. (Alicia Davidson/The Daily Memphian file)

The Memphis Medical District Collaborative (and partners) is inviting folks to a cookout at this newly renovated park. Said cookout is slated to feature live music from DJ Space Age and Corey Lou and Da Village, food trucks Stickem and Moss Be Smoke, B&B New Orleans Style Shaved Ice, a music instrument “petting zoo,” face painting and entertainment from the Memphis Grizzlies. Noon to 4 p.m. Free admission. 747 Poplar Ave. Click here for more information. — Perry

“Juneteenth: The Musical Stage Play” at the Halloran Centre, Saturday:

“Juneteenth: The Musical Stage Play” will show at two times on June 10 at the Halloran Centre. (Courtesy Orpheum)

Memphis Juneteenth President Telisa Franklin presents this stage play, featuring performers from the Young Actors Guild, that tells the story of what it was like in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, when the enslaved people there finally learned they were free. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln two years earlier. This play is one of many Memphis Juneteenth events happening throughout the city in the days leading up to the federal holiday. Two shows: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. $27.50 to $40. 225 S. Main St. Click here for more information. — Phillips

“Birds. Art. Real” at The Hi-Tone, Saturday:

Work by Brian “Skinny” McCabe (pictured) and Michael “Birdcap” Roy will be on view at “Birds. Art. Real” at The Hi-Tone on June 10. (Holly Whitfield/The Daily Memphian)


Artist and venue owner Brian “Skinny” McCabe joins forces with Michael “Birdcap” Roy for a fowl-themed visual art show with some possibly … foul elements. Guests can view and purchase paintings from both artists in The Hi-Tone’s upstairs space this Saturday night only. Memphians have likely seen Roy’s work around town, including many colorful murals in his signature animation-inspired style, as well as in his art book, “The Grief Manual”. The joint show’s punny name is inspired by the satirical viral media campaign “Birds Aren’t Real” (which, fun fact: originated in Memphis) and that irreverence continues through the pieces that will be on display. McCabe’s work incorporates found art, which he alters with humorous, unsettling or satirical elements — in many cases, this involves toilet humor. He calls the collection of new works a “delightful defecation desecration,” to give you an idea of what to expect. McCabe says the show’s soundtrack will start out with yacht rock and flow into a Memphis rap theme. “I love contradiction, and I think if you’re at an art show you should be listening to Triple Six, not some smooth jazz,” he said. Ages 18 and up. 6 to 11 p.m. 282-284 N. Cleveland St. Click here for more information. — Holly Whitfield

“No Tears Project” at multiple locations, Saturday-Wednesday:

Kelley Hurt (middle) and Christopher Parker (left) will perform during the No Tears Projects concerts in Memphis this week. (Courtesy Memphis Public Libraries)

The Oxford American’s touring art outreach program, the “No Tears Project,” uses music and conversation to educate communities through stories about civil rights. And it’s coming to Memphis this week. The series of performances and discussions starts on Saturday with an educational concert featuring Oxford American commissioned pianist Christopher Parker and vocalist Kelley Hurt at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library. There are two more concerts with Parker and Hurt performing new works by Memphis artists at The Green Room at Crosstown Arts on Sunday (a morning show and an evening show). On Tuesday, the “Recognition Before Reconciliation” panel discussion at the Central Library will feature civil rights heroes and activists. And on Wednesday, Little Rock Nine member Elizabeth Eckford will share personal stories from her book, “The Worst First Day: Bullied While Desegregating Central High,” in a storytime event at the Central Library. Multiple times. Free. Multiple locations. Click here for times, free registration and more info. — Phillips

Playback Memphis: Juneteenth Memphis Matters at TheatreSouth, Saturday:

Playback Memphis presents “Juneteenth Memphis Matters” at TheatreSouth on June 10. (Courtesy Playback Memphis)

A few days ahead of Juneteenth, Playback Memphis will present a special performance commemorating the liberation of enslaved Black Americans. The improv-style show, which will feature interpretations of stories told by audience members, will feature an all-Black cast and a Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-only audience. 7 to 9 p.m. $20 to $40. Inside First Congregational Church, 1000 Cooper St. Click here for more information. — Phillips

Women of Soul: Black Music Month Edition at the Halloran Centre, Sunday:

Adajyo will join three other performers in the Women of Soul concert at the Opheum Theatre on June 11. (Courtesy Orpheum)

June is Black Music Month, and the Orpheum will pay tribute to the “women of soul” with this concert featuring singer-songwriter Zsa Davis, former “American Idol” contestant Keia Johnson, a capella quartet Adajyo and vocalist Katrina Anderson singing a mix of classics and original music. 7:30 p.m. $49. 225 S. Main St. Click here for more information. — Phillips

Crosstown Counterpoint: Blueshift Ensemble and Evan Williams at Crosstown Concourse, Wednesday:

Composer Evan Williams and Blueshift Ensemble present “Crosstown Counterpoint” on June 14. (Courtesy Crosstown Arts)

Shortly before Crosstown Concourse’s groundbreaking in 2017, oral histories about the building were taken from Memphians, with the idea to share their multi-generational stories someday. On Wednesday, that day will arrive with the premiere of conductor and composer Evan Williams’ “Crosstown Counterpoint.” Two antiphonal string quartets, from Memphis-based contemporary chamber music ensemble Blueshift Ensemble, will accompany the voices. Williams’ works “Bodies Upon the Gears,” “Amber Waves” and Terry Riley’s “In C,” will also be performed during the event. The performances take place in Crosstown’s Central Atrium. 7:30 p.m. Free admission. 1350 Concourse Ave. Click here for more information. — Perry

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